(Exo 14:1 NASB) Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
(Exo 14:2 NASB) “Tell the sons of Israel to turn back and camp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea; you shall camp in front of Baal-zephon, opposite it, by the sea.
Exo 14:2: Israel was leaving and they were on their way out of Egypt. Elohim told them to turn around. They were to camp at Pi-hahiroth. The precise location of this place is not known.
They are to camp opposite of Baal-zephon, by the sea. This place is apparently connected to worship of the sun-god Baal. A Phoenician letter from the sixth century B.C. seems to identify this area to be approximately 27 miles south-Southwest of Port Said.
It does seem strange that Elohim told them to go back after He told them to hurry and leave. But the purpose is to lure Pharaoh to go after Israel. Elohim wanted Pharaoh to think Israel was wandering aimlessly in the dessert. It would appear to Pharaoh that they do not know where they are going.
(Exo 14:3 NASB) “For Pharaoh will say of the sons of Israel, ‘They are wandering aimlessly in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’
(Exo 14:4 NASB) “Thus I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.” And they did so.
Exo 14:4: Pharaoh is going to be lured to chase after Israel. Once again Elohim will harden Pharaoh’s heart and cause him to act on his true hatred.
(Exo 14:5 NASB) When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his servants had a change of heart toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?”
Exo 14:5: Notice that it wasn’t just Pharaoh that had a change of heart toward Israel. Pharaoh’s servants also wanted Israel back as slaves.
(Exo 14:6 NASB) So he made his chariot ready and took his people with him;
Exo 14:6: This is stated as if Pharaoh was in such a rush that he got his own chariot ready by himself.
(Exo 14:7 NASB) and he took six hundred select chariots, and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them.
Exo 14:7: The 600 elite corps of chariots went along with every chariot in Egypt.
Notice there were officers over all of them. The crew required for each chariot was highly trained and skilled for this work. Charioteers enjoyed a high social standing and became a military aristocracy.
(Exo 14:8 NASB) And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he chased after the sons of Israel as the sons of Israel were going out boldly.
(Exo 14:9 NASB) Then the Egyptians chased after them with all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and they overtook them camping by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.
Exo 14:9: Israel was chased from the north part of Egypt all the way down to a place on the Red Sea.
(Exo 14:10 NASB) And as Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the LORD.
Exo 14:10: The way that Egypt is “advancing,” it would appear that they all had a deep hatred for Israel. Their doom is well deserved.
(Exo 14:11 NASB) Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt?
(Exo 14:12 NASB) “Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”
Exo 14:12: The people are sarcastically deriding Moses. The account of these alleged earlier repudiations of Moses are not recorded in Scripture.
(Exo 14:13 NASB) But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.
(Exo 14:14 NASB) “The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.”
Exo 14:14: Elohim does not desire us to grumble and complain. He provides for us in every way and did the same for Israel. However, the grumbling of the people has barely started. Moses tells them to shut up.
(Exo 14:15 NASB) Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward.
Exo 14:15: This is all part of Elohim’s plan. He is going to destroy Egypt and deliver Israel.
(Exo 14:16 NASB) “And as for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land.
(Exo 14:17 NASB) “And as for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen.
(Exo 14:18 NASB) “Then the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD, when I am honored through Pharaoh, through his chariots and his horsemen.”
Exo 14:18: Elohim will be honored and feared throughout the world for this act. That is one thing we often lose today is fear of Elohim.
(Exo 14:19 NASB) And the angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them.
Exo 14:19: Elohim moves behind Israel and separated Egypt from Israel. This cloud put a thick darkness between Israel and Egypt. This is also recalled in Joshua 24:7.
(Exo 14:20 NASB) So it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud along with the darkness, yet it gave light at night. Thus the one did not come near the other all night.
Exo 14:20: Traditional interpretations state that the cloud stayed dark on the Egyptian side but gave light to Israel on the other side.
(Exo 14:21 NASB) Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided.
Exo 14:21: Notice that the wind blew all night long. The fact that the ground was dry after the sea was swept away is recorded in Scripture (Psalm 66:6, 106:7-12). That means that this was a miraculous feat and not totally some kind of natural disaster.
(Exo 14:22 NASB) And the sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
Exo 14:22: This cannot be totally attributed to a natural event. The waters were like a wall to the right and a wall to the left.
(Exo 14:23 NASB) Then the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea.
Exo 14:23: The Egyptian army followed Israel and the Cloud into the waters.
(Exo 14:24 NASB) And it came about at the morning watch, that the LORD looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion.
Exo 14:24: The morning watch is between the hours of 2 AM and 6 AM. In Israel the watches were divided up into three approximate parts: 6 PM to 10 PM, 10 PM to 2 AM, and 2 AM to 6 AM.
The wording is that Elohim brought the army into confusion. Not necessarily that He used the fire to stop them like in the movie, the Ten Commandments.
(Exo 14:25 NASB) And He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from Israel, for the LORD is fighting for them against the Egyptians.”
Exo 14:25: They would have been wise to do so.
(Exo 14:26 NASB) Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen.”
(Exo 14:27 NASB) So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal state at daybreak, while the Egyptians were fleeing right into it; then the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
Exo 14:27: The Egyptian army was slaughtered. They did not stand a chance.
(Exo 14:28 NASB) And the waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh’s entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained.
Exo 14:28: Not one Egyptian survived.
(Exo 14:29 NASB) But the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
(Exo 14:30 NASB) Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.
(Exo 14:31 NASB) And when Israel saw the great power which the LORD had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in His servant Moses.
Exo 14:31: Elohim purposed these actions to achieve His goal. He wanted the people to fear Him and be obedient to Him.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas